AP Exam-ination


Jeff Chin

As the AP exam season approaches, excitement for the end of the school year comes alongside the nervousness surrounding AP exams. In May, students can earn college credit for certain classes by taking college-level Advanced Placement exams. As a result, students have the ability to skip certain courses in college. 

However, these tests are not meant to be easy. In fact, the average national score for AP exams in 2022 was 2.92. But do not be discouraged; according to the College Board website, more than sixty percent of exams taken received a score of 3 or higher, which is a passing score.

Passing these tests gives students the chance to get a headstart on their college undergraduate experience because they can use AP credits so they do not have to retake similar classes in college. “AP scores help accelerate your college experience and could also possibly help you graduate a year early,” says guidance counselor Mr. Adler. There are students who graduate from Waterford High School every year that are able to skip a semester or their entire freshman year of college using credits earned from AP exams. 

Many WHS alumni have positive opinions about AP credits. For example, Theodore Joseph, who graduated with the Class of 2022, said that “They were helpful because they got a lot of random classes out of the way for school.” Theo took five AP classes during his time in WHS and it helped him free up his schedule, allowing him to take more useful classes instead of having to repeat taking the same classes. Additionally, Waterford alumni Evan Childs of the Class of 2022, said: “I really enjoyed the experience because it was challenging and I felt like I was getting a headstart to college.”

Sixty percent of students at WHS are enrolled in an AP-level course this year. Regardless of the rigorous curriculum that AP classes bring, the level of preparation that students feel is dependent on the teacher. Senior Ethan DelGrosso commented,“I’m feeling prepared and excited to see how I do. That being said, I don’t look forward to sitting in a room for that long while I take the AP Stats and AP English exams.” Senior Vincent Antonelli also had similar feelings: “I overall feel prepared for the AP exam and I am also excited to be done with school work.” 

This trend of preparation is not new. In fact, last year students felt a similar feeling, “I was also pretty well prepared, but I was still very nervous because it was my first time taking the test and I didn’t know what to expect,” said senior Vincent Antonelli. Taking the test may seem frightening at first, however, teachers do their best to try to prepare their students for the exams. For example, AP Government and Politics, which Mr. Cheney teaches, has become an increasingly popular class over the past couple of years, enrolling more students each year. Looking at a trend chart of scores in past years, the percentage of students getting scores of 3 and above in AP Gov has been steadily increasing, showing the improvements made to AP preparations.

It is equally important for students to prepare just as much as teachers. The College Board website and YouTube channel have review notes and streaming sessions that help prepare students to take on the 14 AP exams that WHS offers plus more. 

Last year, 240 AP tests were taken and 120 students took AP-level classes. As it stands now, WHS plans to administer 292 AP exams and 133 students take AP-level classes. The trends of AP enrollment and passing scores hopefully foreshadow that scores and college credit this year will be even higher than last year.